The approved medicines that contain active ingredients of marijuana can now be prescribed here after the departing Minister of State at Department of Health Alex White signed the regulations legalising their use.
This move means brings hope to the sufferers of multiple sclerosis as they will soon be able to use Sativex legally i.e. an oral spray that contains extracts of cannabis, which proved to help some of the patients with the symptoms of spasticity. The patients of multiple sclerosis campaigned for many years for decriminalisation of the drugs usage for medicinal purposes.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority earlier known as the Irish Medicines Board had recommended approving the product for usage there in 2012. Its usage, however, remained against the law as a reason to ban every type of marijuana under the misuse of drugs legalisation. The changes were signed some time ago, which was before the elevation of the position of Mr. White to that of a Minister for Natural Resources, Energy and Communications.
Overall, such products were also prescribed and a strict control over cannabis availability was also maintained. Products like these have been legal in the UK and various other countries ever since 2010. However, the availability of Sativex will be only for the patients having valid prescriptions from the doctors once the drug is available in the market. Around 8000 people in Ireland are affected by multiple sclerosis.
The probable costs of the drug will be estimated by the National Centre for Pharmaco economics before making a decision on the availability for the medical card holders. The suicide campaigner late Marie Fleming was assisted by a partner and welcomed these new regulations thereby saying that it had been a thing that Marie and he had campaigned for some time. He also said that Ms. Fleming had been using marijuana for over eight years before she died in December as very much effective ways of pain-controlling and spasms that were caused by her multiple sclerosis.
He further stated that he agreed that some control should be there on the usage of such products. He added the fact that these would be available only on valid and proper prescription, which means the doctors, would be having control.
He had also called for Sativex, which is a cannabinoid based medicine that is approved by the regulators of medicine there and to be included in the list of those medicines for which the state reimburses cost.